(New York) – January 1, 2009. A new year has come and an old one has gone, in a sign of the progress in Iraq the United States has made it has handed over control of the Green Zone to Iraqi forces. The 5.6-square-mile area in the heart of Baghdad also known as the International Zone will be under full control of the Iraqi’s, although there will be a United States presence there, the US is even paying rent now. (more…)
Posted tagged ‘Iraq’
An Iraqi man tried to attack President Bush with a shoe at a press conference today.
After 90 years Poland has ended its program of conscription into the military. All men 18 years and older must serve 9 months in Poland’s military.
Poland for most of its history was under threat of invasion. Recently these threats have loomed large yet again. These threats coming mostly from its neighbor to the east with the largest land army in the world. The Russian invasion of Georgia this summer reminded Poland how easy it would be for them to be next.
Recently however with the last election there were promises to the many youths that in exchange for their vote, the politicians would end the draft. So now the time has come for the government to end the draft. They kept their promises.
Last week the last group of of drafted soldiers would be the final group. This followed 90 years of mandatory service. All of this coming as an effort to modernize its army.
Poland has shown its eagerness to tackle military problems lately as a member of NATO and of the EU. With troops in Chad, Afghanistan and recently finished its tour of duty in Iraq. Poland has shown to be a vital ally to the United States and its Western European allies.
Poland is facing the same problems as many other nations at this time. The global economic recession has taken finances away from the armed services. Then there is the added pressure of outdated and failing equipment. The new policy of ending conscription has led to yet another problem to be addressed.
Not having a steady supply of men to serve in its armed forces Poland has had to start running commercials and raising financial compensation for its soldiers. After these draftee’s have finished their 9 month tours of duty Poland will officially have a professional army.
According to the latest BBC reports UK forces are scheduled to leave Iraq early next year. They are reporting the troops are scheduled to begin leaving in March of 2009.
Most British soldiers are in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Currently the UK has 4,100 of the few Non-American coalition troops left in Iraq. This would make Romania the next largest contributor of soldiers to the occupation in Iraq with around 500 troops.
This news follows the Iraqi governments decision to force US troops to pull out of the cities by mid 2009 and to withdraw completely by December 2011.
Many inside the Department of Defence in the UK are saying the troops could be moved over to help fight the Taliban. Soldiers, helicopters and other equipment are needed urgently to keep the Taliban from regaining land.
So the debate is over. Let’s start taking it apart peice by piece.
I have fact checks, and highlights.
Did Joe Biden have a gaffe? Surprisingly, no!
It seems that Sarah Palin was the attack dog tonight. She came out swinging when she pointed out that Joe Biden said Barack Obama was not ready to be commander in chief. Again quoting him saying he’d be willing to run with John McCain.
She attacked him when she stated Barack Obama voted against funding for our troops (without a time table) to which Joe counter punched by saying that John McCain himself had voted against funding for our troops. (with a time table) He went on to say John McCain was “dead wrong on the fundamental issues relating to the conduct of the war.”
When asked herself about Iraq she said she was from a team of “mavericks.” She said she along with John McCain were mavericks a lot. Last time I checked, she’s wasn’t a Maverick.
As for gaffes, well Sarah Palin twice referred to the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan as General McClellan. His name is David McKiernan.
It seemed for every punch Sarah Palin threw at the more experienced Joe Biden there was a counter punch which was stronger. Palin said Obama voted to raise taxes 94 times Biden said by that ideology McCain voted “477 times to raise taxes.”
On energy Biden said that in the last 10 years McCain had voted “20 times against funding alternative energy sources and thinks, I guess, the only answer is drill, drill, drill.” (more…)
It’s that time once again. I smell something bad, and it’s not Sarah Palin’s mooseburgers.
I call shenanigans!
This time I’m calling shenanigans on Kevin, Jay, and Derek. Who are these three? Well they are some ill informed, and sometimes outright absurd St. John’s students who seem to want to destroy Senator Obama’s image.
St. John’s University conducted a poll of students about the recent Presidential Debates. Stunningly a majority took Obama’s side in regards to who won.
Read what they wrote after the jump. (more…)
This is the first of the two part series “Better Know a Vice President” and in this installment we’re looking at Joe Biden.
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. is the Senior United States Senator from Delaware. He’s been in office since 1973 when he was 30 years old.
He’s the chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations. He is known for being a big name in international relations. Joe Biden spoke with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili after the Russian invasion a few weeks ago. He did vote for the Iraq war, however he alongside Senator Lugar wanted an amendment saying that military force will only be used after diplomatic efforts were exhausted and that military action would disarm Saddam Hussein, not overthrow him.
Senator Biden came out strongly with a plan to divide Iraq into a strong federal government along sectarian lines. His son is set to go to Iraq in October so this is an issue which is important to him.
He dropped out of the race for president after Iowa. He has run for president before, in 1988 and 2004. His 1988 campaign came into trouble when he was accused of plagiarizing a speech.
Where does he stand on the issues? Let’s do a quick rundown. (more…)